Best mate or killjoy? That little voice in your head
Intuition – some people call it your better judgment – is a funny old thing. Sometimes you think it’s your best friend, telling you straight up like a mate about how you could take a few smart chances and get to live a bit better.
And then at other times, that little birdy in your head sounds like a killjoy, holding you back. Like the kind of mate who keeps twittering in your ear that you shouldn’t even have a punt because you’re just a mug and won’t win. And so you don’t have a punt – and you find out that you would have won.
Then there are the times when the birdy sounds like the killjoy but turns out to be your best mate. I find those times confusing. But they do come up.
I had a moment like that just last month.
It was a Wednesday, and heading for lunch time. I needed some groceries, and so I jumped into my trusty 1984 Holden Kingswood one tonner and drove out to Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood, hoping to pay my registration and do some banking as well.
I entered the car park complex and proceeded to my usual disabled parking spot.
Usually I take my time and reverse into the spot, so that my door is next to the protected zone and I can assemble my chair there.
But as I said it was lunchtime, and extremely busy, and I did not want to be holding up traffic. So I just drove straight into the disabled spot. Leaving plenty of room between my door and the empty parking bay alongside, so that I could pull out my chair and assemble it there. As you do.
I had assembled my chair and was about to transfer into it when I noticed that a car had started to enter the vacant spot.
I glanced out and saw that the driver was an elderly lady. And that she could barely see over the steering wheel.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of room. I could easily have got into my chair.
That was when the little voice in my head started telling me it would be better to wait until that car was parked. And I stayed put.
I was glancing out my open door and watching the car creep slowly towards my chair.
I kept thinking that the driver was going to stop and straighten up.
But she kept coming.
She collected my chair, and began pushing it, slowly, into my door.
I used the only defence that I had, and BELLOWED at her to stop, which thankfully she did.
While I was just sitting there, a passer-by came over to offer assistance. Very soon afterwards, two other men were on the scene. These two turned out to be police, and they told me to calm down.
As I gathered myself, one of the officers reversed the lady’s car off my chair. I transferred into the chair, soon noticing that I had a push-rim shaped dent in my door opening. The policeman asked for my licence so that he could exchange my details with the lady.
He said: “You’ve had your car for a while.”
I asked him how he knew.
“I live in Wonga Park as well. I’ve seen you for the last 30 years.”
By now the driver was out of the car, and the policemen explained to her that had I yelled at her because it was the only way I could get her attention, since I could not walk.
I asked her why she drove into my chair when she had plenty of room.
She said: “I did not even see you.”
It then dawned on me if I had transferred into my chair, as I had thought of doing, I would have been crushed between her car and my trusty ute.
The only reason she stopped was because I yelled “STOP!”
And the only reason I could yell at her to stop was that I had listened to the little birdy in my head.
And that’s what I find funny about that voice in your head. Sometimes it tells you to hold back, and you wish later that you hadn’t paid it any attention.
But then there are those other times when it says the same sort of thing, and you’re pretty happy that you did pay attention.